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Leptospirosis is a potentially deadly bacterial disease that is carried by wildlife and transmitted through their urine. It can be found in any body of water outside: creeks, lakes, streams, and even puddles in your backyard. Any dog that goes outside is at risk for Leptospirosis!
Leptospirosis also affects people. It is the most common zoonotic disease in the world, which means it can be transmitted between animals and humans. Infections in people can cause liver or kidney disease and flu-like symptoms.
Some dogs infected with Leptospirosis may not show symptoms at all, while others may have sore muscles, fever, dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and urinary problems. In serious infections, symptoms include swollen legs, painful eyes, difficulty breathing, bleeding disorders, jaundice, and death.
The best way to prevent Leptospirosis is through vaccination, which will protect your dog for at least 12 months. In the past, this yearly vaccine was included in a combination booster shot along with Distemper-Parvo. This is no longer the case, as the latest advances in science have allowed vaccine manufacturers to extend the Distemper-Parvo viral vaccine to 3 years, while the Leptospirosis bacterial vaccine must still be administered every year. Because of this, many dogs are now missing out on their annual Leptospirosis vaccination.
A Leptospirosis vaccine has the potential to save your pet’s life. It is never too late to get the vaccine for your dog, even if they have never had it in the past. If you have any questions about Leptospirosis or the vaccine, your Pet Paradise veterinarian is always available to help!